The market is down 7. The SFE Future were down 10 this morning.

Wall St. gained slightly overnight == Dow closed up 4. Up 44 at best and down 54 at worst. Seventh rise on the trot. It was another low volume session. Oil fell slightly and did the Gold price. Aussie dollar fell to 82.70c from 83.44c yesterday morning.

Woolworths (WOW) == NPAT up 12.8% against guidance of up 9-12% so at top of guidance. Upper single digit earnings growth guidance == forecasting 8-11% for 2010 in line with expectations of 9%. The analysts briefing today is likely to focus on the Hardware roll-out which will probably not reflect well on Wesfarmers (Bunnings).

In the news today…

  • Tatts Group (TTS) down 3c — result in line.
  • GPT Group (GPT) — up 2c to 59.5c — impacted by significant asset writedowns.
  • Virgin Blue (VBA) down 4% — in line — wants to break-even this year.
  • Oz Minerals (OZL) down 4.3% — results impacted by asset sales. It has $1bn in cash.
  • Crown (CWN) up 2% — despite writedowns coming in a lot severe than expected.
  • Westfield (WDC) has priced $2bn of debt via private placement.
  • Aquila Resources (AQA) — still in a trading halt — talk of it unveiling a Chinese shareholder.
  • ConnectEast (CEU) — out of trading halt — raises $399m via institutional offer.
  • Eldora Gold has made a $2.2bn friendly takeover offer for Sino Gold Mining (SGX) — 21% premium valuing SGX at 724c a share.
  • Ramsay Healthcare (RHC) in a trading halt ahead of a $260m institutional placement and share purchase plan. Also announced results up 22% ahead of their guidance for up 20%.
  • Ten Network’s major shareholder CanWest will have to sell its 50.1% stake in TEN unless its gets an extension from its lenders for a third time.
  • One broker suggests the Consolidated Media (CMJ) share buyback will flush out a bid for the company from the Seven Network (SEV).
  • Bigger stocks Ex Dividend today — ASX (74.5c), PPT (60c), BEN (15c), IAG (6c).Bigger stocks Ex Dividend tomorrow (last day to buy for the dividend) — COH (95c), SUN (20c), WOR (55c), HST (5c).
  • BHP (50.07c) and Monadelphous (44c) ex dividend on Monday.

In Broker Stuff…

  • Asciano (AIO) Credit Suisse ugrades target price to 155c from 135c. UNDERERFORM recommendation. Main businesses including container ports and intermodal rail expected to remain weak until H2 next year.
  • UBS up AWE to Buy from Neutral and its target price to 310c from 287c even though its result was below expectations.
  • Macquarie cuts Pacific Brands (PBG) to Underperform from Outperform and cut target price to 111c from 121c after its result.
  • UBS have a 430c target price on Ivanhoe Australia (IVA), 103% above the current share price. They say Buy.
  • Citi has a Buy on Arrow Energy (AOE) and a 613c target price, 35.6% above the current share price, saying its result beat its estimates.
  • GSJB Were maintains Buy on Mitchell Communications (MCU) and lifts its target price to 110c from 90c after lifting their EPS forecasts.

The Dow Futures are down 34 at midday.

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